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The New York Yankees recently accused the Boston Red Sox of stealing hand signals from Yankee catchers. Sign-stealing is not against the rules. It is generally accepted in baseball, except in this case. Why did Major League Baseball’s commissioner promise a “thorough investigation” in this case? (What made this incident different?)

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.

Cartoon by Chip Bok


It was the use of technology that was the violation. It is against MLB rules to use any form of technology to steal signs.

A Red Sox trainer used an Apple Watch to receive information in the dugout from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players.

[MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said, “We actually do not have a rule against sign-stealing. It has been a part of the game for a very, very long time. To the extent that there was a violation of the rule here, it was a violation by one or the other [team] that involved the use of electronic equipment. It’s the electronic equipment that creates the violation.”]